Story-A-Day May: List

A short piece of flash fiction about (one aspect of) mothering.

Before Owen was born, Carolyn had assumed that her days would be filled with glancing adoringly at her baby and then writing while he napped. She imagined all the creative projects that she would get done while he slept and all of the fun they would have together while he was awake. She imagined walks to the park, cute photos on Instagram. She thought about learning to scrapbook so she could have a record of all of the heartbreakingly cute moments of his early years. She imagined the joy of nursing him, the thrill of rocking him to sleep, the fun of making him giggle as she bathed him.

Of course, with mothering, like with anything, there are parts that you cannot know until you are living them. Now that she had context, she understood the things that her sisters had tried to tell her about their days. Her baby was young, her creative projects were few, her days were baffling. There was joy but very little order.

She found herself laughing at her list, made a few days before Owen arrived, of the things she would need for the first few months. She thought she would need things like cute outfits for the baby, some props, and a faster internet connection so she could share her photos easier.

Now that he was her, her list for the first few months was far shorter. She just needed more sleep.